Schools opt not to renew levy
Reynoldsburg Schools officials opted not to include a 2-mill permanent improvement levy in this month’s election.
On the books for more than 30 years, the levy expires at the end of the year.
The levy has been renewed every five years since 1976 and annually generates $1 million. Treasurer Tammira Miller said the levy was first placed on the ballot in the 1970s to support capital expenditures and currently funds maintenance, repairs, school buses and technology.
The district will continue to purchase new buses through a balance remaining in the permanent improvement fund.
Maintenance and technology will now be funded by savings from recent construction projects.
According to the district, construction savings are estimated to be nearly $10 million, which will fund all necessary improvements for at least five years.
Although the levy experienced a long history of successful renewal - given the present economic climate at the federal, state, and local level - Miller said uncertainty surrounding operating dollars prompted the district not to pursue a levy campaign.
“The construction savings provides a revenue stream to replace the permanent improvement levy,” Miller said.
By not renewing the two-mill levy, the owner of $100,000 in property valuation will see a $39 reduction in his annual tax bill. For a $150,000 property, taxes go down by $59 and the owner of a $250,000 property will see her taxes reduced by $98.
District officials also say the levy will expire for several reasons, including:
• Ongoing construction projects, funded by bonds approved by voters in 2008, were bid in a favorable climate. Building costs were lower than anticipated, and the district chose to stick to the approved plan rather than adding bells and whistles.
• The community’s desire to maintain a single-high school identity made it unnecessary to duplicate athletic and other features at both sites. Instead, the district is investing in current facilities – such as the Livingston football stadium and soccer fields at Baldwin Road – so the community has up-to-date, but not redundant sports facilities.
• When the Livingston Avenue campus renovation is completed next year, every school will be new or newly renovated, which will result in lower maintenance and repair costs.